While the government finally accepted that those with mixed doses of two Covid-19 vaccines – such as Astra-Zeneca and Pfizer – will now be considered fully vaccinated, the same was not so clear for those who have recovered from the disease.
In recent days The Local has received many messages from readers wondering if the policy had changed because the text on the government’s website had been updated and no longer contained any explicit mention that those who received one dose after recovering from Covid were not considered fully vaccinated.
hello! since yesterday with the rules change there is no longer info on the website about those who recovered and have only 1 dose not being allowed. do you know if from now on we will be allowed without quarantine? thanks
— tecas (@sportswithtecas) October 5, 2021
But a spokesperson for the Department of Transport confirmed to The Local on Tuesday that there had been no change in policy regarding those travellers who had recovered from Covid.
The government’s “background info” for the new travel rules state:
- “There has been no change to the UK’s policy regarding natural immunity. Individuals must be fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) to qualify under the fully vaccinated rules for travel to England, irrespective of proof of recent recovery from COVID-19.
- Fully vaccinated means that you have had a complete course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England. The day you had your final dose does not count as one of the 14 days. The vaccine must be administered under either: the UK vaccination programme or an approved overseas vaccination programme in a listed country. See further info on gov.uk here.
- The government will continue to assess the risk posed by people with natural immunity as we review the health measures in place and look at whether there is evidence to support any measures being eased.
In many European countries those who had Covid were only advised to get one dose of a vaccine. In these countries that is considered as fully vaccinated for the purposes of travel.
The UK policy has effectively meant thousands of “fully vaccinated” travellers from Europe have faced having to quarantine for 10 days in the UK.
This has forced many to seek out a second dose of the vaccine while others have reportedly lied on the “passenger locator form”, needed for entry into the UK by saying they had received two doses. Anyone found to have lied on their passenger locator form faces a hefty fine, however.
The EU’s Covid vaccination certificates normally only contain the date of the final injection.